Israel lies on the Mediterranean coast of southwest Asia, with most people living along the coastal plain. The eastern interior is dry and includes the Dead Sea—the lowest point on the Earth's surface. North are the rugged hills of Galilee, and south lies the Negev, a desert plateau. Israel's population is about 81 percent Jewish; most of the rest is Arab. 

Israel has two official languages: Hebrew and Arabic.

 Interesting Facts About Israel

 

 The Dead Sea is the lowest point on earth, at 423 meters or 1,388 feet below sea level. 

 The Sea of Galilee is the lowest freshwater lake on earth, at 209 meters or 700 feet below sea level.

 The Mount of Olives in Jerusalem is the oldest, continuously used cemetery in the world. The first recorded burials are from the First Temple period 3,000 years ago and burials continue there until today.

 Jericho is the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, with the first settlement there dating back 11,000 years ago to the year 9,000 BCE.

 More than half a billion birds fly through, in the spring on their way to northern Europe and Asia, and in the autumn on their way south to Africa. 

 Birds can be observed all over the country, but the main birding center is the beautiful Hula Valley in the north of Israel.

 Israel is one of only two countries that began the 21st century with a net gain in the number of its trees.

© 2017 Roots and Heavens. Contact: patrick@cohn.co.il